Understanding Hypnotic Language
Hypnotic language has a certain style, cadence and rhythm to it. It is designed to be calming, soothing and relaxing, and is meant to help the client to become deeply relaxed, and more importantly, to trust you.
It is a journey going into a state of hypnosis, one that many people feel leaves in a vulnerable position. The last thing you’d want is to have some weirdo trying to have strange powers over you. Which is why it is so important to be normal (more on that to come).
This short video by NLPTimes explores how to use hypnotic language like a ninja and become very skilled with the precise use of language:
Hypnotic language also uses a lot of imagery to stimulate the mind. When the mind is active conjuring up vivid scenes and imagining different locations and scenarios, it is entering a state of hypnosis. This isn’t witchcraft, when we read books like Harry Potter and our imagination is set loose and we voluntarily (and enjoyable) enter states of hypnosis.
In fact, with so much ‘hype’ around what exactly hypnosis even is, I would just say that hypnosis is any state of vivid imagination and wonder. Any time you’re imagining, or visualizing, or pretending, or believing, or fantasizing, or dreaming of the future – you’re in a state of hypnosis. And you did it to yourself.
Be A Normal Human
One thing that is important for aspiring hypnotists to remember is the importance of ‘being a normal human’. It pains me how much the ‘image’ of hypnosis revolves around state hypnosis, spinning clocks and weirdos who want to do some mind control voodoo stuff.
Maybe some people believe that hypnosis is their ticket to being a weirdo and controlling people and getting away with it, but nothing could be further from the truth. People have amazing BS detectors, and if you’re a weirdo, people will pick up on it a mile away, and want nothing to do with you.
It’s amazing how hypnotic just being normal is. Why? Because most clients at some level expect you to be an absolute weirdo, that your ‘normalness’ is shockingly refreshing. Instantly helping you to stand out from the crowd and be likeable.
You want your clients thinking ‘wow…he was so down to earth and friendly, he was able to hold a normal conversation about potted plants and the optimal proportion of kale to add to a salad, and he listened intently to my concerns as if what I had to say really mattered!’
Essentially – you want your clients to like you. Be friendly, smile, say hello, ask how they’re doing, have a nice, comfortable office and chair, or if you’re doing sessions by zoom, have a professional looking background that maybe has a few interesting knick knacks to spark some conversation.
In fact, that is a good point – don’t be afraid to have a few momentos or books or pieces or art or sharp pieces of clothing that are conversation starters. As much as the session is about your client, if they start asking questions about you and taking an interest in you, this is a big win too as it will help them to like you better.
Being Artfully Vague
The beautiful part of being vague is that the mind then works quickly to fill in the blanks, and in that process starts visualizing and imagining. The mind does not like ambiguity, and so it will start filling the picture in as it sees fit. Making the scene work.
For example, if you said ‘there are sensations in your body’ – what sensations? Where in the body? How do they feel? Do they feel good or bad? There are so many unanswered questions. However if you took a moment and looked inwardly, you would find suddenly find there are sensations in your body.
Even a statement like ‘feel a wave of tingling from the top of your head to the tips of your toes’, which is a bit more specific, still is vague in terms of what is a ‘wave of tingling’? However you’d start to feel this tingling sensation up in the crown of your head, and feel it start melting through your body.
Pretty cool, right?
Being Scientifically Specific
On the flip side of the same coin is being scientifically specific and vividly descriptive. This is when you describe everything down to the tiniest level of detail so the client can visualize it vividly.
This would include descriptions of sights, colours, sounds, smells, sensations, feelings, subtle looks, tastes and levels of detail the conscious mind doesn’t typically pick up on.
Statements like ‘the breeze was gentle, yet cool, with each slight wave causing a subtle tingling on each and every hair on their arm. One by one, moving up from the hand to the elbow to the shoulder, each little hair was gently ruffled and a pleasant sensation started expanding up the arm’.
That was a whole paragraph just to describe some wind and body hair. But see how the vividness and detail brought you into the moment and helped you to see and visualize it? That is hypnotic language.
The Secret Language Of Hypnosis
To go deeper, hypnotic language also includes subtle language patterns. These are designed to help the client relax and go deeper into their hypnotic state. They are subtle, and on the surface appear to be pretty ordinary words, but have a profound impact on the subconscious.
This quick video by Kevin Hogan explores some hypnotic language patterns you can start to use:
The More, The More
‘The more you feel your relaxing breath, the more you’ll feel at ease’
The formula for this is simple, the more of X that you do, the more you’ll feel y. They may or may not be related, but in a hypnotic state they feel like they’re connected. If you feel relaxed in your breath, then likely you’ll also feel more at ease. Some more examples:
‘The more you allow these feelings to wash over you, the more pleasant they will feel’
‘The more you listen to my voice, the more you’ll drift into relaxation’
The Deeper The Better, The Better The Deeper
‘The deeper you relax, the better you’ll heal, and the better you heal, the deeper you’ll relax’
This causes a positive feedback loop, with each statement reinforcing the last. As someone relaxes more, they’ll heal better, and as they start healing better, they’ll relax even deeper.
More and more, deeper and deeper, down we go!
The word ‘now’ is quite powerful when used in hypnosis, as it helps to turn simple suggestions into gentle commands to be done, well, now. This is a way of communicating direct to the subconscious.
‘As you listen to my voice, you’ll learn all you need to know, now’
‘You feel yourself growing more powerful and confident in situations that used to be difficult, now’
‘You are an infinitely intelligent human being with a million ways to create new ideas, now’
The reason the word ‘now’ works is that it is so tame as to be normal and conversational. There is nothing odd or obtrusive about it, yet it helps to serve as a command to take a specific and desired action.
This, That, These, Those
This is subtle, but powerful. The words ‘this’ and ‘these’ are associative words, and ‘that’ and ‘those’ are dissociative words. Meaning, when you want someone to associate with a positive feeling, us This and These, and when you want them to dissociate from negative feelings, use That and Those. For example:
‘This tingling sensation that you feel radiating through your body’.
‘These feelings of joy and wonder as you start to imagine what’s possible’
‘That old pattern of unwanted behaviour will start drifting away’
‘Those bad memories will start fading into the background’.
It is extremely subtle, but this is a precise level of using language. By using This and These you allow your client to take ownership of those new feelings, behaviours or habits. By contrast, using That and Those, allows them to create distance and objectivity – they are no longer connected to that thing anymore.
All The Way Down
‘Allllll the way down’.
This is a simple statement to induce a feeling of going deeper and deeper into a hypnotic state. Similar to Alice going down the rabbit hole, there is a long way down to go.
This is a statement that can be used over and over again, to help clients as they relax deeper and deeper into their trance. It’s like a good spice, you want to make sure there is plenty of it in your meal.
Saying ‘all the way down’ can also help induce a certain feeling of falling or weightlessness in your clients – similar to how you fall asleep at night and there is a subtle falling sensation right at the moment of entering sleep.
This is a subtle reinforcement. If your client is doing the right things, is relaxing, is going deeper into their trance, you can show that you see and approve of their behaviour by reinforcing it with the statement of ‘that’s right!’. People love to be told that they’re doing things right.
Use this as a reward whenever your clients follow your suggestions. People feel lost when trying new things, and this helps to show them they’re on the right path. Similarly can also say ‘Good’, ‘Perfect’, ‘Exceptional’, ‘Fantastic’ – these are words we don’t hear nearly enough.
Each And Both Of You
This little phraselet refers to both the conscious and subconscious mind. It is somewhat vague and ambiguous, which may disorient clients somewhat. Example:
‘Each and both of you can start to deeply relax in your new feelings of power and confidence’
‘And now’ signifies a new change is coming, that something big is about to happen. Ads a slight flare of drama to the air.
‘And now, you will start to notice your body and mind feeling even more relaxed than you ever thought possible’.
In A Moment
Why is this subtle statement so powerful? It plays with time. It builds anticipation and it primes the subconscious that something is coming. Ever watched a YouTube ad and they say something to the effect of ‘In a moment, I’m going to reveal to you the 3 secrets that…’
Right? It’s so exciting, because we know that something is coming, yet it is also being withheld, and that just makes us want it more. A few variations:
Soon, in a few seconds, when I say, in a couple of moments, shortly, not now but in a moment…
All statements to add a time delay, build anticipation and prime the mind to receive the next piece of information. It is slightly mind boggling how this simple set up makes receiving the next piece of information that much more exciting.
In fact, one could even go so far as to argue that the whole perception of pleasure is more related to the promise of future pleasure than really about actually receiving that thing. Think about it, the weeks leading up to Christmast are often way more exciting and agonizing than the actually morning itself. Mysterious boxes wrapped in pretty packaging sets our imagination on fire.
To close things off, this hypnotic meditation by Michael Sealey is a demonstration of using hypnosis to clear subconscious negativity: